Crafting the Aphex Twin “Flim” Drum Pattern: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Creating a drum pattern that utilizes the complex rhythms and textures of the beloved Aphex Twin “Flim” track might seem daunting at first. However, with a step-by-step approach, it’s entirely possible to craft a beat that carries the essence of this iconic sound. This guide will walk you through the process, from setting the initial beat to adding signature elements, and making complex rhythms accessible even to beginners.

Starting with the Basics

Setting the Tempo

The foundation of any good track is its tempo, and for the Aphex Twin “Flim” beat, we’ll go with 140 BPM (Beats Per Minute). This tempo will provide the necessary pace and energy.

Start with a Basic Beat

As a starting point, we’ll use a simple two-measure beat with Kicks on the 1 and 3, Snares on the 2 and 4, and eighth-note Hi Hats all the way across.

Incorporating Snares and Kicks

After establishing the tempo, the next step is to add two more snares. Placing these between the backbeats adds a pushing feel to the rhythm. Then, push the feel even further by shifting the kicks off beat 3.

Putting Space in the Top End

To get a subtle start/stop feel in the top end, remove a few Hi-Hats. Aphex’s beats often jerk the listener around a bit, and this helps achieve that.

Adding Depth and Texture

Layering with Kicks and Toms

A quintessential aspect of the Aphex Twin “Flim” drum pattern is a busy and complex kick rhythm, so we add in a lot of kicks. Following this, we bring in a subtle fluctuation in the low end by layering in a couple low toms over the kicks, specifically on the ‘and’ of two, emphasizing these kicks, creating a richer texture.

Modifying Hi-Hats

The transition from closed to open hi-hats adds another layer of sophistication. By using an open hi-hat sample that’s slightly longer than the closed one, we achieve a barely noticeable fluctuation in the top end, enriching the track’s overall feel.

Play this drum pattern yourself in our free online STUDIO.

Not sure what to do?

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Fine-Tuning with Velocity and Stutters

Adjusting Velocity

Subtle velocity adjustments, including lowering the velocity in a pair of kicks, and introducing a new snare note, offer a nuanced dynamic to the beat. These slight changes in intensity breathe life into the track, making it feel more organic.

Adding the Aphex Stutter

Finally, incorporating that quintessential Aphex stutter sound towards the end of the loop gives our beat a signature touch, echoing the experimental and unpredictable nature of Aphex Twin’s music.


Crafting an Aphex-inspired beat involves more than just following a formula; it’s about understanding the subtle intricacies that make electronic music compelling. By starting with a basic beat, layering with additional elements, and fine-tuning with velocity and stutters, we capture that Aphex sound. This guide serves as a starting point for your explorations into complex rhythms and textures, encouraging you to experiment and find your unique sound within the electronic music landscape.